Steve Kenfield, vice president of sales and marketing for Kingsburg, Calif.-based HMC Group Marketing Inc., sees snacks as an emerging player.
“I think the snack produce category is emerging ever so slowly,” he said. “I think really it’s a question of getting that category established as its own separate category. People have been working on it for years, but it’s starting to gain some traction.”
Maintaining that growth may present some hurdles as non-traditional produce retailers get into the market, said retail consultant Ed Odron, president of Odron Produce Marketing & Consulting, Stockton, Calif.
“Sales continue to be challenging, to say the least,” he said. “As an example, check your Sunday paper and look at the first five pages of any drug store ad. All food, and they are getting into perishable along with Target and others. The pie is only so big and retailers are struggling as theirs gets smaller.”
But for the moment, there still appears to be plenty of room for growth for all fresh-cut retailers, said Jim Richter, Overland Park, Kan.-based executive vice president of sales and marketing for Rexburg, Idaho-based Wilcox Fresh.
“It continues to go up overall,” he said.